Just as transitioning from the ICW to the Chesapeake Bay was an obvious change, so too is the transition from the Chesapeake Bay to the Northeast. We left Chesapeake City on schedule Monday afternoon and headed out to an anchorage in the Delaware River. There was nothing special about the view from this location unless you like to look at a nuclear power plant.
The next day we traveled down the Delaware River and Delaware Bay to Cape Henlopen, a very peaceful spot with good protection from pretty much all directions.
This lighthouse protected our anchorage at Cape Henlopen.
We had delayed our travel down Delaware Bay so that the next day when we headed up the coast in New Jersey for an overnight sail to New York the weather would be conducive to comfortable travel. Tuesday turned out to be as predicted – surprise, surprise. The seas were a little lumpy at times but by and large it was comfortable sailing especially through the night. Although I did my best to guess the time it would take us to travel, once again I found it difficult. The tidal current at times would slow us as predicted, but other times wasn’t as strong as predictions. Although we wanted to approach NYC in the daylight and slowed our progress to help make that happen, we still approached the busy area before sunrise. That said, there was enough light from so many sources as we approached the metropolis that we had little trouble.
The Verrazano Narrows Bridge welcomed us to New York Harbor.
What did surprise us was the number of freighters and barges attached to tugs that were anchored in the harbor. Thanks to AIS, we knew which were moving and which were parked. By 6:30 AM we were anchored in the cove at Liberty Park, just in from Liberty herself.
The anchorage was more crowded than we like, but we were crashing for a few hours before moving up the East River and on to Port Washington where we were to spend a couple of nights. We figured we could handle the time to get a few hours sleep even if it was a bit crowded.
The view of the New York skyline were magnificent. Here is the 9/11 MemorIal,
And the Empire State Building
And one of the many ferries we had to watch for
The travel from Liberty to Hell’s Gate where the East River is met by the Harlem River was pretty bizarre. We’ve been to NYC a number of times, but one gets no sense of the river traffic when driving around Manhattan. We were on constant watch for tugs, ships and high speed ferries which can move up to four times our speed. They know where they’re going, but we have to guess about it and do our best to stay out of the way. The heavy traffic only lasted an hour or so, and then thing settled down some.
We had planned to arrive at Hell’s Gate at slack tide, and that worked out well. So the final stretch to Port Washington was easy and peaceful. This town offers free moorings close to the town docks, and several were available when we arrived.
After a day of recovery and grocery shopping, we moved on to Long Island Sound. The forecast for the next few days was good, but then stormy weather was forecast. Therefore we wanted to get to Onset by the western end of the Cape Cod Canal before that hit.
One of several lighthouses on the Sound. In each area we traveled,the lighthouses had a little different look to them.
Just one more beautiful sunset, this one at Block Island.
After two days travel in the Sound, we ended at Block Island for a night before heading up through Buzzards Bay to Onset. All went well, and we were safely anchored for the night before the thunderstorm hit. We’ll stay here for a few days preparing for a couple of family visits to our boat on the weekend.
Onset is a stop we’ve made in the past, and we always enjoy our time here. Although not officially part of Cape Cod, it does seem like it’s part of it with character typical of the Cape. The Bay here is well protected and just off the Canal. We can time our departure to take advantage of the strong current that runs there. It can run up near 5 knots at times, helping to carry us in to Cape Cod Bay and points north.
Had to include another lighthouse, this one on the north end of Block Island after sunrise.
So in the past week or so we’ve come from one setting (the Chesapeake) through a second which is quite different (NYC) to a third with its own special character (southern NE and the Cape). This sort of travel points to one of the real advantages of cruising and helps us better appreciate the rich variety our country offers.
More variety to come as we move up the coast.